Monday 27 June 2022

Behold The Monolith - From The Fathomless Deep (Album Review)

Release Date: July 15th 2022. Record Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

From The Fathomless Deep - Tracklisting

Crown The Immeasurable Void

Psychlopean Dread

Spirit Taker

This Wailing Bride

The Seams Of Pangaea

Stormbreaker Suite


Matt Price - Electric, acoustic and slide guitars

Menno Verbaten - Bass, Vocals and Cello

Chase Manhattan - Rhythm and Lead Guitars, Gong


From The Fathomless Deep is the new album from Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metallers Behold The Monolith. A few things have changed for the band since their last album was released seven years ago. Firstly the band has a different vocalist with Menno Varbaten adding Bass/Cello duties. They have now signed to Ripple Music for this album. The most striking change is the band adapting a more Blackened Metal approach to the music. Well, perhaps Blackened Doom with striking features of Modern Day Sludge/Stoner Metal.

The album is a dark, nightmarish and twisted result that harks back to the early days of the mighty Mastodon. Behold The Monolith still offer their trademark Sludge/Stoner Metal sounds they've honed to perfection over the last thirteen years or so. Add pitch black atmospheric vibes which you can hear from the start on the excellent opening song Crown The Immeasurable Void. 

This song allows Behold The Monolith to move further into the Post-Rock stratosphere with Ambient and Psych based Post-Whatever sounds whilst still playing a ferocious style of heavy grooves. Menno adds a menacing approach to his vocal performance which are easy to understand despite the growl-ish nature of it all. I loved the Post-Rock/Post-Metal flavour contained on the later stages of the track.

Second song Pyschlopan Dread opens with eerie Psychedelic noises before devilish and twisted guitars are added for that classic Behold The Monolith punishing AMPLIFIER & DISTORTED vibe is played at a deliberate slow pace for a more action packed Progressive feel. The vocals are slightly distorted and delve into the Blackened Atmosphere of the gloomier side of the album. Add classic sounding down-tuned Doomed Out Sludge/Stoner Metal guitars sees the band firing on all cylinders especially Matt Price and Chase Manhattan on Guitars and Drums respectively. I loved the Thin Lizzy style guitar solos that appear towards the end of the song.

Behold The Monolith carry on immersing themselves to the harsher and heavier dynamics of the Blackened Metal sound that's the "creative glue" holding this album together. The band even playing elements of Thrash Metal and Speed Metal for Spirit Taker that remains one of the standout tracks of the album. Progressive Metal in nature that sees the band go all out for the Ambient Trippy sounds that accompany this song. Once Menno's sublime vocals appear, the song takes a different meaning with the dark lyrical content offering one of the bleakest parts of the album.

The remaining three songs on the album: This Wailing Bride, The Seams Of Pangaea and Stormbreaker Suite sees Behold The Monolith go even further with their more extreme style of Sludge/Stoner Metal. With the final two songs The Seams Of Pangaea and Stormbreaker Suite having the heaviest and most creative aspects of the entire album.

Stunning production values are part of the course with every album released by Ripple Music and From The Fathomless Deep sounds dynamically powerful and is perhaps the best sounding release to date from Behold The Monolith.

From The Fathomless Deep is a brilliant and musically diverse release from Behold The Monolith that could see these guys enhance their reputation even further outside the underground scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo

From The Fathomless Deep will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music from July 15th 2022.


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